My Perfect Stranger is the perfect time travel Korean drama series especially if you like crime and murder mystery shows. The series is 16 episodes, was released 2023, and currently streaming on Viki.
What Would You Do If You Stumbled Upon a Time Machine?
Hae Jun (played by Kim Dong Wook, “Along With the Gods”) works as an anchorman at a news station. One day he drives his car into a tunnel and finds an abandoned car. At least …??? It looked like a car. It was actually a time machine. He did what anybody else would do if they found a time machine. He got inside and tested it to see if he would really travel through time. First, he went to the future and then he went to the past. It was a blast!
But then he decided that since he had already made plans for what he would be doing once he retired, might as well travel to the future life to see if his life had worked out just the way he planned it. Only when he traveled to that moment in time, he found out that he had been murdered a year before. It turns out that a serial killer had been committing murders for 30 years and he was the 5th victim. As one would expect, he was quite upset about that. So he decided: What if he could go back in time to the first murder, prevent it from happening, and stop the serial killer? Sounds like a plan! Let’s do this!
An Unexpected Variable in the Time Travel Plan
Since he had successfully tested the time travel machine, going back and forth between the past and the present was easy. Just get in the car, set the year, and voila! You’re there. But this one time, as he was driving through the tunnel, he sees a young woman standing in the pathway. He swerves to try to avoid hitting her but somehow they both end up in the year 1987, a few months before the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. That young woman was an unexpected variable.
Where did she come from? Why was she standing there? Why did they both end up in 1987? She wasn’t even in the car! It did not take long for him to realize that she was from the same time period that he was from, i.e. the year 2021. But why was she standing there near the tunnel exit as he was driving through?
The unexpected variable, i.e. the young woman is Baek Yoon-young (played by Jin Ki-joo). She works as an editor at a publishing company and is grieving the loss of her mother. It was said that her mother committed suicide. She did not question that the suicide might actually be murder. She only wished that she could go back in time and change her mother’s life for the better. Her father, her mother’s husband, had mistreated and abandoned her. Furthermore, she regretted not having been a good daughter. If only she could go back in time and prevent her mother from ever getting married. Of course, that would also mean that she would not exist. But she was OK with that. As long as her mother had the happy life she deserved.
What’s So Special About Woojeong Village?
The lifeless body of Baek Yoon-young’s mother was found in a place called Woojeong Village. But why was her mother there? When she ended up in 1987, she also ended up in Woojeong Village. It was a surprise to learn that this was the village where her mother and father grew up. Baek Yoon-young got her wish and traveled back in time. But can she really change the past in order to make her mother’s future better?
Hae Jun had a different reason for being in the village. He’s trying to find a serial killer in the hopes of preventing him or her from killing him 30 years later. The first murder occurred in 1987 and it took place in Woojeong Village. It’s the past. Everything has already happened. Can he really prevent the first murder and stop the killer?
He had not planned to bring Yoon-young with him. It would have been simple to fix the problem by taking her back. Except that when he swerved to avoid hitting her, he wrecked the car. So! They are sort of stuck in 1987.
Two Different Purposes Intersect
Hae Jun provides a place for Yoon-young to stay and tells her not to go outside or have contact with other people. But it’s too late for that. She has already met her mother and father when they were teenagers before they were married. What an opportunity!! All she has to do is stop them from getting together. That’s her only purpose.
Yoon-young soon realizes that certain people in Woojeong Village have stories that they have kept secret for 30 years. Have they covered up the murders of several people? Was her mother’s death actually a murder and not a suicide? Now her purpose and Hae Jun’s have intersected. She needs to know if the serial killer Hae Jun is trying to find also murdered her mother.
Hae Jun did extensive investigating tracing the crime events from 1987 to the present. He brought the information he had gathered pertaining to the serial murders with him when he traveled back in time. He and Yoon-young begin working together to unravel the mystery. But can they catch the serial killer and prevent five (5) murders? They have a clue that is rather cryptic. There was a matchbox from the Boong Boong Cafe found at the scene of one of the crimes and it contained a note: “A woman who reads is dangerous.” What could that possibly mean?
Viewership and Rating
Parents often tell their kids: “Before you were born, I actually had a life.” But kids don’t often get to see what their parents’ life was like and how they ended up living the lives they live as adults. Her mother wanted to write and loved to read. But her aspirations were never realized. Yoon-young got an opportunity to travel back in time to see the life her mother lived and the opportunities that she was denied that prevented her success. She also got to know her father. Was her anger and resentment toward him justified?
This series is a riveting crime thriller/murder mystery. In addition, My Perfect Stranger makes time travel extremely believable. The Viki viewing audience rated My Perfect Stranger, 9.5 out of 10 stars. Other public reviews rated it 4.9 out of 5 stars. I agree.